How To: Monitor releases and debug deployment issues

VSTS | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015

Release Management creates comprehensive log files as it executes a release and deploys artifacts. Use these log files to monitor and debug your releases, and add additional information to them when required by running a release in debug mode.

View release log files

Select the release you are interested in and open it.

Opening the details of a release

In the release Summary page, choose the Logs tab link. The Logs page shows the status for each step or task of the release, for each of the environments in the release definition. If the release is still running, you see the live display of the log file as it is generated by the agent.

Viewing the release log page for an in-progress release

After a release has completed, irrespective of whether it succeeded, failed, or was abandoned, this page shows the log file, the details, and the history for each step or task. You can download the log file for each task, or download all of the log files as a zip file.

The Logs page showing a list of activities for the release

You can run your deployments in debug mode to show additional information that can help you resolve issues and failures.

If you don't want to see the live log output, hide it using the Details pane drop-down list at the top right of the page. When the details pane is hidden, you can sort the list in ascending or descending order based on the values in the columns by clicking the column headings (the sort by column values icon shows the current sorting column).

Hiding the live log file and sorting the results

As the list of environments and tasks grows, including the history for earlier releases, it may be more difficult to find individual items. Filter the list to show just approvals or just tasks using the View drop-down list at the top right of the page.

Viewing just approvals or just tasks in the Logs page

Run a release in debug mode

Show additional information as a release executes and in the log files by running the entire release, or just the tasks in an individual release environment, in debug mode. This can help you resolve issues and failures.

  • To initiate debug mode for an entire release, add a variable named System.Debug with the value true to the Variables tab of a release definition.

  • To initiate debug mode for a single environment, open the Configure environment dialog from the shortcut menu of the environment and add a variable named System.Debug with the value true to the Variables tab.

  • Alternatively, create a variable group containing a variable named System.Debug with the value true and link this variable group to a release definition.

For more information about configuring environment variables, see this topic.

If you get an error related to an Azure RM service endpoint, see How to: Troubleshoot Azure Resource Manager service endpoints.

See also


Where can I learn step-by-step how to build and release my app?


Do I need an agent?

You need at least one agent to run your build or release. Get an agent.

I can't select a default agent queue and I can't queue my build or release. How do I fix this?

See queues.

I use Team Foundation Server on-premises and I don't see some of these features. Why not?

Some of these features are available only on VSTS and not yet available on-premises. Some features are available on-premises if you have upgraded to the latest version of TFS.

Help and support